Research Topic

Marine Microorganisms and Their Enzymes with Biotechnological Application

About this Research Topic

Due to the extreme and fluctuative salinities, pressures, and temperatures that comprise the marine environment, marine microorganisms have been forced to develop unique metabolic pathways to adapt to life in this environment, and are thus able to produce specialised compounds that differ from those produced by terrestiral microbes. Therefore, marine microorganisms have become an important source of new active substances.

At present, important progress has been made in the research of microbial physiology and metabolism in extreme marine conditions, contribution of enzymes in marine bioremediation, and the development of new industrial enzymes. With the help of genome-wide technology, gene recombination, rational design, and synthetic microbiology, marine enzyme research has been developed rapidly in the recent years. A variety of enzymes with special properties have been isolated from marine bacteria, actinomycetes, fungi and bacteriophages, for instance various proteases, lipases, sialidases, hydrogenases, glutaminases, DNA polymerases, xylanases, alginate lyases, chondroitin sulfate lyases, mannanases or sulfate polysaccharide degrading enzymes, and some of these enzymes are already produced industrially.

Marine microbial enzymes have the following unique characteristics:
1. In order to adapt to the special marine ecological environment, the genetic structure and metabolic characteristics of marine microorganisms change adaptively, which may form enzymes with special properties; such as production of depolymerizing enzymes or lyases specific to alginate, sulfated polysaccharide or chitosan.
2. Thanks to the variety of environments in the ocean, the catalytic performance of marine microbial enzymes is extremely adaptive, which is crucial for the development of new industrial enzymes. For example, the reaction promoted by marine low-temperature enzyme can be completed below 20 ℃.
3. Marine microbial enzymes play an important role in marine ecological maintenance and restoration. They are the key driving force that promotes a series of biogeochemical reactions which affect the global ecosystem as well.

This Research Topic aims to focus on the discovery, properties, physiological characteristics, spatial structure and industrial development of novel and valuable marine microbial enzymes, including key enzymes related to microbial physiology, accumulation of characteristic metabolites, and ecological restoration. The submitted manuscripts must address the above scientific problems of marine microbial enzymes. Note that we won't accept merely descriptive screening studies for review.

This Research Topic will focus especially, but not only, on the following sub-topics:
• Recovery of novel enzymes from marine microorganisms (fungi, bacteria, archaea and viruses), their purification and characterization, with particular focus on enzymes from extreme marine environments.
• The amino acid sequence, catalytic domain and other spatial structures of marine enzymes and their correlation with their activities.
• Marine enzyme catalytic mechanisms and characteristic products of related metabolic pathways.
• Application and industrial development of marine enzymes.
• Enzymes involved in microbial response to environmental changes.


Keywords: marine microbes, enzymes


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Due to the extreme and fluctuative salinities, pressures, and temperatures that comprise the marine environment, marine microorganisms have been forced to develop unique metabolic pathways to adapt to life in this environment, and are thus able to produce specialised compounds that differ from those produced by terrestiral microbes. Therefore, marine microorganisms have become an important source of new active substances.

At present, important progress has been made in the research of microbial physiology and metabolism in extreme marine conditions, contribution of enzymes in marine bioremediation, and the development of new industrial enzymes. With the help of genome-wide technology, gene recombination, rational design, and synthetic microbiology, marine enzyme research has been developed rapidly in the recent years. A variety of enzymes with special properties have been isolated from marine bacteria, actinomycetes, fungi and bacteriophages, for instance various proteases, lipases, sialidases, hydrogenases, glutaminases, DNA polymerases, xylanases, alginate lyases, chondroitin sulfate lyases, mannanases or sulfate polysaccharide degrading enzymes, and some of these enzymes are already produced industrially.

Marine microbial enzymes have the following unique characteristics:
1. In order to adapt to the special marine ecological environment, the genetic structure and metabolic characteristics of marine microorganisms change adaptively, which may form enzymes with special properties; such as production of depolymerizing enzymes or lyases specific to alginate, sulfated polysaccharide or chitosan.
2. Thanks to the variety of environments in the ocean, the catalytic performance of marine microbial enzymes is extremely adaptive, which is crucial for the development of new industrial enzymes. For example, the reaction promoted by marine low-temperature enzyme can be completed below 20 ℃.
3. Marine microbial enzymes play an important role in marine ecological maintenance and restoration. They are the key driving force that promotes a series of biogeochemical reactions which affect the global ecosystem as well.

This Research Topic aims to focus on the discovery, properties, physiological characteristics, spatial structure and industrial development of novel and valuable marine microbial enzymes, including key enzymes related to microbial physiology, accumulation of characteristic metabolites, and ecological restoration. The submitted manuscripts must address the above scientific problems of marine microbial enzymes. Note that we won't accept merely descriptive screening studies for review.

This Research Topic will focus especially, but not only, on the following sub-topics:
• Recovery of novel enzymes from marine microorganisms (fungi, bacteria, archaea and viruses), their purification and characterization, with particular focus on enzymes from extreme marine environments.
• The amino acid sequence, catalytic domain and other spatial structures of marine enzymes and their correlation with their activities.
• Marine enzyme catalytic mechanisms and characteristic products of related metabolic pathways.
• Application and industrial development of marine enzymes.
• Enzymes involved in microbial response to environmental changes.


Keywords: marine microbes, enzymes


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

29 January 2021 Abstract
19 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

29 January 2021 Abstract
19 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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